The Delhi High Court on Thursday will pronounce its verdict on the plea challenging the Centre’s two notifications which are behind the bitter turf war between Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for control over the capital’s administration.
A total of nine cases arising out of the spat between the L-G and the Delhi government are being heard together by the bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini.
The hostile tussle for Delhi’s administrative control reached the high court after the Delhi government challenged the centre’s May 21, 2015 notification giving the L-G absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats in the city.
Along with the May 21 notification, the Delhi government had also challenged the July 23, 2014 notification of the Centre which limited the ACB’s jurisdiction to Delhi government officials only.
The Home Ministry notification gives the L-G a complete free hand so far as the reserved subjects of ‘Public Order’, and ‘Police’, are concerned.
It does not talk of any consultation whatsoever with the CM, a departure from a norm prescribed under the September 24, 1998 MHA notification.
Further, the July 23 notification said that the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), which had been working under the Delhi Government, couldn’t act against central government employees, prompting Kejriwal to allege the Central government was trying to run Delhi through the “backdoor.”
The power struggle is rooted in Delhi’s unique position as a union territory functioning as the Capital, with the state government having no say over important departments and agencies. This is a key complaint of the AAP, which alleges that Jung acts as an emissary of the Centre.